In the true tradition of ‘post event considerings’, due to time restrictions, this year I’ve used some of the suggested feedback questions to tease out my thinking on Localgovcamp 2015.

Firstly a big shout out to the organisers, sponsors, attendees (especially those who came a long way to Leeds). It was a good couple of days and I hope you enjoyed your trip to my home town. I learned stuff and it was good to catch up with others who care about local government.

I hope the Friday night venues for drinks and eats hit the mark and those who did the #storywalk got to see a bit of Leeds from a different watery viewpoint. It was almost as if it was planned weeks in advance.

What did I learn/or gave me a glimpse of the future?

Events like these are not all about what or to what extent you learn on the day. You may attend sessions about things on the fringe of future possibility…you find out it exists but that you may need to look into it more. I’m talking about Esko’s blah blah blah session on Bitcoin and blockchain. I didn’t understand the video or most of the discussion but it is something that I’m now aware exists and looks like it may have massive impact and so I’ll add it to the ‘must read up on that’ list. Not necessarily criticism but perhaps a bit deep for me for the final session of the day…..or was it a teaser?

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Blah blah blah blah blockchain

I also learned that it is good to help others with their learning. We all go with some experience and it is good to offer to help others. I enjoyed Alb Freeman’s session on ‘why is sharepoint a bad thing?’ Good for him for leading a session where he wanted to know something.

It was also nice to see people representing a wide range of interests and organisations, public private and 3rd sector. Also people at different levels within those organisations. It is good to see a delegate list so you know that different folk are there and not everyone sees it from your perspective.

I also now know where Adur and Worthing is.

What surprised me?

That part of Leeds where the event was held is ALOT better than it used to be.

John Popham really surprised me when he pitched a session announcing I was leading a storywalk!

I surprised myself that #storywalk left on time and returned with minutes to spare before the last session. That was good especially as we didn’t have a route when we left the building. Thanks to those who walked for keeping the session going. I also learned the top of my head has a lot less hair than I thought it did. Thanks John for holding the camera so high. Video link here

I didn’t have a clue where Adur and Worthing was. See above.

What held me back/got in my way/frustrated me?

Some of the language used to pitch and in some of the sessions went over my head…I’m thinking “democracy stack”, “government as a platform”, “blockchain” and might have put me and others off. I had read some of the pre-session potential pitch blogs but still. I know others probably struggled too. I am however nosey and usually attend stuff that has confusing names to see what it is about. I’d recommend people do a pre event explanation if they know it might be helpful and look to see if there is any pre reading which may help.

How will I behave differently?

Unconferences always remind me that we learn more by listening than talking. I will remember this every week. But I will continue to give people who come up with stupid names for something simple without reason a bit of a hard time. Some of the folk that need to make decisions that could help us deliver some of the things we think up at unconferences might be the ones who need to understand what we talk about. We have a duty to explain it simply.

When someone at an unconference asks me where Adur and Worthing is, I will now have a constructive answer for them.

Funny moments

The microphone shenanigans at the pitch helped to get the day off to a humorous start. One year someone really ought to run a session questioning the integrity of their superior…or words to that effect. However my funny moment was after watching the video explaining Bitcoin. We moved the chairs to create a discussion circle. It didn’t go unnoticed that someone had dropped two coins in the middle of the floor. Bitcoins?

You can read more blogs from LocalGovCamp 2015 on the LocalGovDigital site:
LocalGovCamp and fringe 2015 blogs

Til next year…